This age old question has befuddled philosophers, humanitarians and the great minds of many centuries. Ok, probably not the great minds of many centuries (they’ve been worried about curing polio, small pox and cancer and things like that….). But, it has been on MY mind a lot lately as we (Michael and I) recently became the proud parents of 16 baby chicks. How quickly they grow and develop and how much more independent they are than we are as infants.

They arrived via the US mail in an 8” x 8” box. It took them 2 days to get here (glad the US Postal Service decided to be speedy this once! – Sorry don’t mean to offend any former US Postal carriers, with no food or water, literally just after being hatched. We immediately transferred them into a larger box, put them under a heat lamp and gave them food and water, they instinctively knew exactly what to do and have been doing exactly that ever since! We’ve since moved them into a “hutch” type facility while their permanent “chicken coop” was being completed and again, they’ve flourished.

So, after only 4 weeks, they’ve been born, flown half way across the country in a cardboard box, moved into a new facility away from their parents with 10 other chicks that don’t look anything like themselves (We got 3 different kinds – 5 of each and they sent one extra – in case one didn’t make the long and arduous trip, makes you feel great about the odds, doesn’t it?), and are growing like weeds! And, in less than 8 more weeks, they’ll be laying approximately 108+ eggs per week! Which leads me back to my original question and thoughts…which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Do you think about these types of things with regards to your law firm and your life? These really ARE the truly important questions. And, the answers ARE the truly important answers because they are the answers that keep us “sustainable”. Sustainability in our firms and in our lives and in this world is essential. Do you plan and want to be here for the long haul? How are you building and growing your law firm so that it will be here not just tomorrow, but 20 years from now? Are you just worrying about your future or are you worried about your children’s future and their children’s children’s future? Are you leaving a legacy by using the things from the past? Can you recycle things, reuse things and be more sustainable so as to not leave such a large carbon footprint on this planet when you go?

How you grow and develop your practice is up to you. The foundation you lay is your decision. It can be a firm and solid one that can last for generations (even if they aren’t your generations). They can leave a lasting and positive impact on the world around you or they can simply take and use and consume the resources that are present and leave nothing to replace them. Sustainability isn’t a trend or a fad. It is a conscious way of life and it is here, permanently. It has been around since the dawn of time. Our ancestors gave it as a gift to us and we should leave it as a gift to future generations. But, it is a gift and it requires planning, conscious efforts and hard work. It is a daily challenge. One I know the chickens are up for. The question becomes: are you?